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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Faces of L.A.’s Jobless: A Neon Tommy Special Report

Special Projects Team |
December 21, 2011 | 12:12 a.m. PST

We don't consider it a bad thing that a child goes through puberty. So one expert questions the worrying about L.A.'s current transformation. What will post-pubescent L.A. look like? >>>

In two years, one woman went from designing the Los Angeles cityscape to, at 44, moving back in with her parents in Montreal. What went wrong? >>>

One out of every three 16-to-19-year-olds in California wants a job and can't find one. So how do South L.A.'s youth jobs watchdogs fix the problem? >>>

Extra schooling hasn't landed the woman who grew up next to the yellow brick road a job yet. >>>

On the cusp of being homeless, a woman finds comfort at the marina. Find out why. -- VIDEO >>>

From the food bank's chief officer to the students at L.A. High, everyone knows what's up. -- VIDEO >>>



When medical problems arise, however, the underinsured are often left without options beyond emergency rooms and clinics. >>>

It took $5.4 million to find "green" jobs for 130 people. Judging by numbers alone, it would be easy to dismiss CCEWTP as a failure. >>>

Why are people willing to empty their retirement accounts to buy time to find the perfect job? >>>

 “...it felt like we were all being herded into an internment camp because we knew what was happening, but we couldn’t stop it.” --Sheri McCrone

“...a lot of jobs I’m qualified for, I can’t get because I don’t have a GED. The GED is $81.00 and sacrificing that would put my bills in danger,” --Kelly Warren.

I panicked. ... I have my college degree. What am I doing picking up water jugs for people? And it’s the same with Whole Foods- I’m cutting fish for people,’” --James Kim

An Indonesian native dreams of working on Wall Street. Find out what's standing in his way. >>>


Fatima fled Somalia, worked for a Kenyan family, earned herself a trip to Mexico and ended up at Occupy L.A. She explains why Occupy L.A. beat homeless shelters. Hint: Harry Potter. >>>

A trip to care for his grandmother cost Darnell his job. It's been an uphill battle since then. >>>


Can't find work? Join a support group. >>>

Fired? Time to head back to school. >>>





While more than 26,000 L.A. County day laborers hope for a few hours of work every day, the housing crisis and recession have abandoned most to a fruitless search, made even tougher by anti-immigration sentiments, ineffective city-funded day laborer centers and an influx of Latin American immigrants, all competing against a much larger demographic than previously existed. >>>

Trade jobs can be a path to economic stability. Bricklayer apprentices with no experience start with a base wage of $12 an hour, but can top out at $46 an hour. Add benefits and union membership, and there’s a recipe for a stable middle class income. So what's the problem? >>>

"Like others here, enrolling at the poker-dealing course at Casino College is his last-ditch effort in a string of unsuccessful tries of getting back on his feet. Though the chips here have no cash value, by enrolling in the school, Fernandez is making a bet that there’s a job on the other end. The problem is, landing a full-time dealing job in Las Vegas right now is a moon shot." >>>



Twenty-five-year-old Melody Verdugo chose to quit her job in music publishing in April to pursue her dream as a freelance songwriter. >>>

Fifty-six-year-old Calvin Sweeney, an NFL and USC football star, lost his job as a manager at United Parcel Service in 2010. >>>


Cheryl Kono loved seeing the impact her work made on students’ lives. She was fired by LAUSD, but she’s still driven to give to the community. >>>




Live On Twitter


Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.



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